This is one of the most important book that had read.... I read many....
With a broad spectrum of topic, the author systematically deconstructed the force behind human and social behavior that shape our society today. Truly is a classic...
The Emily Dickinson verse, at the end, is an exquisite touch.
If there ever be a missing point in the book, it would be a discussion of modern society self-destructive/unsustainable path.
The best audiobook I've heard and probably the best book I've heard or read in a long time.
Detailed, insightful, quirky, fun, informative. It tackles a very science-heavy subject in such a nice manner that you're never bored. The writer and the narrator engage you throughout the content.
His narration was engaging, fun. He emphasized the right points correctly. His tone of narration set the tone for the book.
The last chapter of the book was excellent - an apt summary to all the significant ideas conveyed in the book.
Every once in a while you read a book that causes a paradigm shift inside you. It gives you a new clearer view about the world. This is one such book, and it does the job in such a convincing manner, that even though it presents views which might be contrary to your long-held beliefs, at the end it will leave you with a smile on your face and a sense of satisfaction rather than in a moral dilemma.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
A monumental work debunking the still (unbelievably) widely held idea that the human mind is a blank slate shaped by culture. (The most simple thought shows that the blank slate theory begs the question: how can the mind come from culture, when, by simple reasoning, one can easily deduce that culture, in fact, MUST come from the mind--there was no free floating original "culture" waiting for the first mind to come into existence.) Pinker uses all the latest technology and scientific knowledge to make his points, and though this book does not have the usual Pinker pop culture winks and playful wit, it will still be easy enough for most laymen to understand and profit from.
The book is about the nurture versus nature debate, and Pinker is very straight forward with his presentation of facts. The bottom line is that the broad scientific consensus is that - as Pinker illustrates - we are not born as tabula rasa. The nurture side of the nature versus nurture debate is still widely supported by the popular media however, so those not inclined to critical thought will be put off by Pinker's approach. I only gave it three stars because Pinker leaves off the scientific discourse about half way through, and segues into a more personal narrative which seems designed to redeem himself to those he just offended. I wasn't bothered by this part of it, but found myself bored with its subjective nature.
This book is fascinating. I can't imagine a person not being more enriched by taking the time to read and think about the arguments in this book.
As definitely and clearly as i can state it: Get this book.
I read all sorts of books from various non-fiction to YA fantasy. Love them all!
I found the narration in this audiobook quite acceptable. Nothing amazing, but not bad either. I mean, how can you be amazing when reading a book like this, anyway?
In The Blank Slate, Pinker outlines three dogmas that he says are the prevailing views of human nature in modern philosophy:
1) The blank slate, in which the mind has no innate (genetic) properties and, as John Watson boasted, through conditioning you could train a child to become anybody you want her to become.
2) The noble savage, in which people are born good, and society forms them into deviants. Pinker suggested that Rousseau was a strong proponent of this theory, but according to Wikipedia (which is always accurate), Rousseau never used this term.
3) The ghost in the machine, in which people's choices are solely dependent upon their soul.
Pinker provides evidence that these three dogmas are false, and that there is a strong genetic drive in human behavior. He covers diverse topics including racism, violence, rape, and feminism (among many others).
Overall, I found this book fascinating. I didn't think I was going to agree with Pinker...especially when I first started the book. But he presented some pretty good arguments that convinced me to waffle, if not to change my mind. I was a bit put off by Pinker's arrogance (like when he says that he's "proven" something when he's only provided evidence), but I guess that's to be expected in many well-respected intellectuals.
The Blank Slate is a masterpiece, a must-read book for our times. It describes the relationship of science with social science and the humanities with great clarity and fascination, with a warm heart and a cool head. The narration and audio quality are up to the task of bringing this book direct to your ears and brain.
There's a lot of wisdom in here, but had I known it was written in 2002 but might not have bought it. The examples are from way in the past.
Just a stupid truck driver.
Among the top. I learned a lot, although, I'm not smart enough to say that I grasped all the concepts completely.
No. I'm open minded. I learned a lot.
This is probably a book where one should buy the book and not listen to the audiobook. I've been told that the book has a lot of corresponding graphs, etc., so that you can see the data and grasp the concepts at hand.
This is a very interesting and well written book on an important topic, the malleability of human nature. Similar to "The Righteous Mind," which I also enjoyed immensely. The narration was also excellent.